BlackBerry may have laid out the red carpet for the smartphones we own today, but Apple's iPhone was certainly the most attractive model to walk down it. Prior to the iPhone's release there was a strong emphasis on style, but substance took a backseat.
Apple saw this opportunity and came out with a smartphone that not only looked the part, but also proved to be incredibly useful at allowing us to manage and organize our lives, alone with providing us with an store filled with applications and games that would keep us forever distracted. BlackBerry made the game, but then Apple changed it.
Both of these early desktops are equally as responsible for the rise in personal computers.
The Apple II marked a turning point for the microcomputer industry as it was one of the very first highly successful models that had been released at that point, making color graphics the modern standard and helping shift the desktop from a luxury to a household appliance.
On the other hand, the IBM Personal Computer popularized the PC acronym, with it creating a marketable platform for software as companies began boasting of their products being "IBM Compatible."
Both desktops had an unparalleled impact upon the personal tech market, bringing desktops into more homes than ever before and allowing many to familiarize themselves with technology that for years prior to their launch were deemed beyond the grasp of the average consumer.
Satellite navigation was previously a tool used predominantly by the US military back in the '80s, with companies' efforts to bring out consumer models often thwarted by the government who would intentionally scramble their location information, effectively ensuring that only they would have functioning GPS systems.
However, in 1989 Magellan brought out the first handheld GPS system to consumers, and traveling has never been the same since. Initially used only as a tool from getting A-to-B, the handheld GPS has received many makeovers in its time, incorporating places of interest into its software along with allowing for automatic updates through Wi-Fi to ensure that each new road, bridge, building and speed camera is accounted for.
Chances are that you haven't heard of R.O.B., but were it not for this friendly-looking (and fundamentally useless) robot, the video game industry may not be where it is today.
Following the North American video game crash of 1983 the entire gaming industry was in disarray, and the future of home consoles was becoming increasingly certain. But while demand for gaming consoles was at an all-time low, Nintendo made the genius decision to produce the Robotic Operating Buddy as an accessory for the NES, in order to dissuade the fears of retailers who were concerned that game consoles were no longer marketable.
R.O.B. essentially acted as a Trojan Horse, with Nintendo able to market the NES as a toy rather than a games console, thus ensuring that more retailers stocked it. The accessory itself was poor, with only two games being compatible for it, but that wasn't the point - Nintendo needed a way to get the NES onto store shelves, and R.O.B. helped them achieve that.
While R.O.B. wasn't exactly a technology innovation, it was a product that helped shape the future of what would eventually becoming the most profitable entertainment medium in the world.
Well done, R.O.B. You still suck, though.
The BlackBerry 5810 wasn't exactly a good-looking smartphone, but it was the very first BlackBerry device that also featured a phone, with the company's email-oriented approach eventually going on to encapsulate phone calls, text messaging and more, essentially ushering in the era of the smartphone.
While primitive smartphones had been around for some time prior to the release of the 5810, it set the standard for many features that would be mandatory inclusions in smartphones of the future. Its aesthetics would later be improved with its successor, the 6210, but this is where it all began for the company which held the hand of the smartphone industry for years, before eventually collapsing under its own weight.
It's unlikely that BlackBerry will ever be as influential again when it comes to smartphones, but without their earlier inventions the smartphone industry wouldn't be where it is today.
Windows 98 may have been more functional, but Windows 95 allowed users to see the power of Microsoft's operating systems and set the standard for user-friendly personal computing.
With its Start menu, taskbar and clean design, Windows 95 transported users away from DOS and to a far more appealing design, complete with primitive Microsoft Office software such as Word and Paint. That features Microsoft introduced 20 years ago are still considered the standard today speaks volumes in regards to 95's impact upon the world of computing.
You know a product has successfully infiltrated the zeitgeist when its name becomes the standard description of the product itself. Such was the case with Sony's Walkman, which effectively became the name which will be attributed to all music players following its launch in 1979.
Initially starting out as a cassette tape player, the Walkman would eventually go on to play CDs and now MP3s, and while its brand name has fallen from grace due to the advent of the iPod, without it portable music would have never experienced the popularity it enjoys today.
While Nintendo may have now ditched the Game Boy brand in favor of the DS, none of the portable gaming systems available on the market today would be here were it not for this 1989 innovation.
When gaming was thought of as a pastime that could only be enjoyed with a console hooked up to a TV, Nintendo stepped in and showed us a green-screened glimpse into the future, alongside iconic games such as Tetris and Super Mario Land. It proved to be a commercial hit, and Nintendo still remains dominant in the world of portable gaming to this day thanks to its 3DS console.
Now we have laptops that are so small we can fit them into our bags and not even notice that they're in there, but back in 1982 the 11-pound GRiD Compass 1101 was leading the way for a market that would eventually grow to include the likes of the Macbook and Chromebook.
The first commercially successful laptop, the GRiD Compass 1101 paved the way for the portable computers we know today, which now rival the desktop in terms of popularity.
The iPod essentially signaled the death knell for the CD and music retailers, popularizing the MP3 format and leading the world to a new generation in which music could be accessed by the click of a button.
While there were plenty of MP3 players circulating around the time of the iPod, Apple's invention undoubtedly did its job the best and has continued to be at the forefront of portable music devices. The music industry may lament its success and wish it could go back to the days of mammoth CD sales, but thanks to the iPod, that's never going to happen again.
It's difficult to remember a time when you could watch TV without being confronted with all the blemishes on the faces of the people on it, but high-definition TV hasn't been around forever.
In fact, despite high-def technology was only made commercially available back in 1998, with Sony and Panasonic leading the pack, but the HDTVs went on market for a whopping $7,000 meaning that it took many years for the majority of consumers to jump onto the bandwagon.
Now with 4KTV on the horizon, we might be witnessing the beginning of the end of HDTV as we know it. It had a good run.
The rise of the DVR previously troubled TV execs who worried that giving users the ability to skip through commercials would dramatically impact upon their profits. While this may have been the case, there was no stopping the rise of the DVR, propelled by TiVo, with the necessity of having to watch a show live if you didn't want to miss it having now been completely eradicated.
The success of TiVo opened the door for online streaming, with the concept of being allowed to watch your favorite shows whenever you liked creating a huge new market for companies looking to fire traditional, linear TV into the past where it belongs.